I Integrating Science and Mathematics

One major concern when science and mathematic is being integrated is the way teachers will teach the two this is a continuing professional concern. Educators will have to make the efforts to direct the presentation of science and mathematics lessons In an era dominated by mathematics, science, and technology , it is essential that science and mathematics be taught in K-12 and that classroom teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to teach both science and mathematics meaningfully to students.

However, in a test driven curriculum where students and teachers are evaluated on student performance based on reading and mathematics standardized test scores, teaching meaningful science remains a challenge (2007 Joseph M. Furner ). Because of the many benefits of integrations academic subjects this is not a new concept. The integrations of mathematic and science help students thinks about the “real world “and by doing so the NCTM standards are met.

There are others benefit of the integrations of math and science it allows the students to start thinking about why things happen which in term will the students a more practical approach to learning and using mathematics with the application of science. A common question asked by students is’ are we ever going to use this when we leave school” the integration between math and science will show the students how usefulness and importance of mathematic which therefore enables them to develop new understandings and skills.

Educators in all schools systems have struggled to rise students test scores one advantage that integrating math with science is to help students’ scores increate. In defining how to integrate math and science, White and Berlin (1992), and Sunal and Furner (1995) made the following recommendations: •Base integration on how students experience, organize, and think about science and •Take advantage of patterns as children from the day they are born are looking at patterns and trying to make sense of the world Collect and use data in problem-based integrated activities that invoke process skills. •Integrate where there is an overlapping content in math and science. •Be sensitive to what students believe and feel about math and science, their involvement and the confidence in their ability to do science and math. • Use instructional strategies that would bridge the gap between students’ classroom experiences and real-life experiences outside the classroom.

When integrating math and science in the classroom it will encompasses a number of considerations, an example of this integrating would be if the teachers taught math entirety as a part of the science or to teach math as a language tool for teaching science, or teaching science entirely as a part of math. The teachers’ training and knowledge level will determine their confident level in teaching math and science and if the teacher lacks either this need to be addressed , for example if the teachers is confident in their able to teach math but not science some teacher may not know how to teach all require science disciplines.

Beane (1995) defines curriculum integration as a way of thinking about the purpose of schools, the sources of curriculum, and the basis of knowledge. Beane believes in order to define curriculum integration; there must be a reference to knowledge. According to Jacobs (1989) and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (1989), planning and teaching interdisciplinary lessons involve two or more teachers, common planning time, the same students, teachers skilled in professional collaboration, consensus building, and curriculum development.

As Robinson (1994) pointed out, the following considerations are necessary for the preparation of interdisciplinary instruction. Some state tests are being designed to reflect an integrated curriculum. In Connecticut, students take the CAPT (Connecticut Academic Performance Test) while in high school. While traditional assessments determine what students know, the CAPT test was intended to determine what students can do with that knowledge. The objective of the test is for students to be able to apply what they have learned to other situations.

Another reason to consider the integration of curriculum is because it is the way people learn. Current brain research points out that the human brain looks for patterns and interconnections as its way of making sense of things. Unfortunately, in many schools students learn one subject in one classroom and then move on to the next classroom for the next subject. By delivering the curriculum in this format, subjects lack coherence and therefore students become disconnected and disengaged.

Educators presume that students will miraculously make the associations between subjects by themselves and will see how the subjects “fit” together and into the real world. With an integrated curriculum, teachers do not need to guess about whether the connections have been made by students, the connections will be clear. Integrating mathematics into the curriculum can be a challenge for many teachers. It takes a great amount of time and teamwork but the benefits outweigh any possible disadvantages.

Integration of subjects gives meaningful contexts for students rather than having them learn in isolation. As a result, this relevance of information better prepares all students. Teaching mathematics in isolation does students a disservice. One goal of mathematics teachers is to produce a mathematically literate nation where people can use the concepts from this subject to solve real-life problems. When mathematics is connected with other subjects, students can develop the intellectual scaffolding they need that will aid them and the nation for the future.

Mathematical assessments should be more than just tests at the end of every chapter. Assessments should inform and guide teachers and enhance student learning. They should give students the opportunity to communicate mathematically and apply their knowledge. PBAs do this by providing an open-ended curriculum and can more accurately assess the skills of a diverse group of students. PBAs are a way for students to use their expertise and knowledge to “tie everything together” because the goal of acquiring knowledge should be its application.

Both mathematics and science education are highly influenced by standards developed by professional organizations. For math, the National Council of Teachers of mathematics [NCTM] (2000) produced Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. This document purports six principles for school mathematics and five curriculum and five process standards. Similarly, the National Research Council [NRC] (1996) produced National Science Education Standards that provides standards for science teaching, learning, and professional development.